Friday, March 28, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Dagnabit, I'm too fat.
So, I am on a diet starting yesterday. It is already taxing my frayed nerves.
I'm hungry. Or rather, HUNGRY. If I were a cartoon, say on a desert island, you would look like a giant hot dog to me and I would chase you, thinking you are food.
I'm even on a structured and balanced diet plan that is supposed to get the craving thing under control, but damn. This is only day two and my body is all annoyed with me. I actually feel like a drug addict, the way my brain fixates on what everybody else is eating. I'm ready to tap up a vein for the next bag of pretzels. It's embarrassing. I notice food everywhere, especially the stuff I am absolutely not supposed to have. I don't even want to write the names of the foods I am craving, for fear of shorting out my nice ergo keyboard with my drool. Does Pavlov ring a bell?
I hope that in a few days, I will not be feeling such strong urges to basically pig out. I think a lot of it is stress over the upcoming court proceedings for "A". Stress always makes me want more chocolate than is strictly reasonable.
Yes, I am drinking lots of water. Yes, I am taking vitamins. I just wish I could go out and take a walk in the fresh air rather then being at work right now.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Great, but long article in Salon today about the looting of the National Museum in Baghdad and of some of the world's most important archaeological digs. I'm going to break my own politics embargo to talk about it.
One of the first things that happened in this misbegotten war that made an indelible impression on me was the ransacking of the National Museum. Since I have an interest in history and archeology and anthropology, the looting of treasures from the ancient world caused me intense distress. This is in every way the cradle of human life and civilization. Mesopotamia, and Southern Iraq in particular is where the earliest record of human recorded history, of evidence of math and science and poetry, have been found. Even the garden of Eden is supposed to be in that neighborhood, the rivers Tigris and Euphrates passing through it.
I remember going out to lunch with a friend at the time, and saying to her that this was the worst cultural devastation since the burning of the Royal Alexandria Library. That the loss of those artifacts, hundreds of thousands of them, represents priceless information about the origins of human civilization that may never be recovered. I was gutted over it. If I recall correctly, she misunderstood my concern and admonished me that some old pottery was not as important as the human lives being lost.
True, "The Epic of Gilgamesh" is not a person. It also will not render oil if you squeeze it, or explode if your fire it out of a gun. Sumerian religion is profoundly Anti-Christian in a lot of ways, and contains goddesses who are dynamic and powerful in their own right, and exult in their sexuality as well as their prowess in battle. Inanna wasn't any body's meek and modest mother. She was a fearsome and powerful spiritual force.
But if not for the Sumerians, we wouldn't have the Bible. Much of the Old Testament and early Jewish lore is generally believed to have been cribbed from even earlier Sumerian and Assyrian works. They had a flood and everything. The similarities are staggering.
That the modern world turns its back on this cultural genocide just makes us more vulnerable to the barbarism that precipitates actual genocide. Losing the clay tablets buried in the earth robs us of a piece of our humanity. That our leaders don't understand it is a travesty. It really shows what their priorities are.
After all, people don't render oil when you squeeze them, either.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Dang it Sherman, what the hell do you think you are doing? In that old cartoon, wasn't it Professor Peabody that was traveling back in time? He did it on purpose, but hijinks certainly ensued.
I think there is some kind of collective nostalgia going on in my peer group. Don't get me wrong, I think it is wonderful. I have had the chance to reconnect with people I haven't seen hide nor hair of since the 1980's and early 1990's. I love having old friends, and I keep as many as I can. I'm lucky that they put up with me.
They seem to pop in out of nowhere, either by chance or because they deliberately sought me out in a case or two. Maybe they are all watching that show "My Name is Earl" and figure we have some as yet unresolved karma. Maybe I am just in a vortex of people that should never have been separated and cosmic forces are conspiring to bring us back together. Maybe we should be forming some kind of super group?
We are all older and wiser(?) and fatter and balder and sassier. Some of us are more confident and sexier and more accomplished than our previous party hound selves. I like the new us a great deal, because I always liked the old us, and it is such a good feeling when you can pick up the ball and run with it without missing a beat.
Besides being self-conscious about the width of my heinie and my general lack of a giant pile of cash to bed down in, I worry about some of the people who have NOT showed up yet, as if the ones that DO show up are harbingers of the ones I would rather just stayed away.
A few of my old lovers have popped in on me in the last few years, and it gives me the willies. I did end up having a heartfelt exchange with one high school boyfriend with whom I had a particularly acrimonious falling out. We actually exchanged a volley of emails that, while initially uncomfortable, ended up yielding to a far deeper understanding between us. It was healing in the deepest sense of the word. After 22 years, we are finally friends again.
Taking heart in that reunion, I went looking for one of my most beloved high school friends with whom I had fallen out of touch. It didn't go nearly so well. I found her to be hostile to me in a way I really didn't expect. It seems that in the intervening 20 or so years, she had decided that I, for lack of a better word, suck. She even lit into me ruthlessly for dating a boy she herself had an unrequited crush on. She was actually still REALLY mad about it. The whole encounter left me shell shocked and deeply saddened. Now when I think of her, all those happy, warm memories of our friendship is end-punctuated with "But now she thinks I'm an ass."
Luckily for me, I am still friends with that boy. He helped me have a laugh about it.
There are only a few people left that might accompany the sound of the other shoe dropping. Shall I name names, in hopes of warding them off? I think it might be cathartic, at least.
1. Paul: Good god, Paul and I had a hideous breakup. I was SOOOOOO young and naive. I am still mortally embarrassed at the way I behaved when he unceremoniously dumped me, and how self-destructive I was for a while after that. We still have a lot of friends in common. I'm pretty sure they are my friends in my own right by now, but it is one awkward subject that we don't broach too often: that they met me when I was dating their friend. I got some damn fine friends out of that relationship, so he was at least that useful. My dog didn't like him. I should have listened.
2. Marc: He cheated on me when we were supposedly thinking of getting married. I still owe him a kick in the stones, although I lack the verve to seek him out to deliver it. It just seems so pointless, since I thank my lucky stars that I married Tony instead of him. (Not that the choice was laid out that way at the time). Oh man did I dodge a bullet, there.
3. Mark F. He would never seek me out. He was my mom's boyfriend and we lived with him for a few years. He was a bad, bad man. Abusive and petty. I googled him a couple of years ago and found he had gotten into some trouble for corporate malfeasance and had been censured by the IEC. Bastard. He could get a whole blog post of his own if he weren't so worthless. He uttered the most hurtful thing I have ever heard in my life when I was about 12, and I am still living with the feelings that produced. No amount of therapy has been able to erase what said in a fit of pique and probably never thought of again. That and he abused my mother. Nobody messes with my mother, yo. Don't mess.
There, now that is nice and gloomy, isn't it? I'm just going to make the sign to ward off the evil eye and enjoy the rest of my day. Lucky for me, the people who have showed up are people who want to talk to me because they actually LIKE me!
I love my friends. They are what makes me wealthy, sure enough.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I have written some pretty schlocky stuff in the last few weeks. However, I have also written a few that I can be proud of as-is or with a little editing. I may polish up a couple of the poems from this series and submit them to literary zines.
In addition, it has started stimulating me to do other kinds of writing. This is either due to the fact that I am in effect creating a daily writing practice again, or I am just so damn sick of writing poetry that I want to write ANYTHING else.
I can even see an arc starting to form in the 40 days, now that I am a bit beyond the halfway mark. I can see how I got over the navel-gazing and actually burned out on writing about my feelings and started fiddling with more concrete images and events that don't have as much to do with my love life, past and present.
In short, I am kind of keeping up, and with a few more multiple-poem days I will even complete the project on time. It feels good to have a deadline, even if it is an artificial or self imposed one.
This is all a part of my self directed re-boot of my writing. I felt a real need after the writers' conference to go back to the basics: plot, character development and pacing. I need to start over and pretend I know nothing to keep me from getting lazy. I tend to suffer from self delusion in thinking I am being avant garde by bending rules about writing that I have no business fiddling with. That just results in the kind of crazy-person rambling that bogs down my stories and loses the reader. I need to be clean. Probably not Hemingway levels of word parsimony, but I need to at least show a little substance with my style.
At the very least, I will have some poetry to shop around or perform at open mics.
What is next? I'm thinking some short stories. I need to set myself a similar deadline, or it will never get done.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I got my certified letter today that I have been accepted to the RN program of my choice! Hot Shit!
It's about time, too. I was really not looking forward to figuring out Plan B. Or was it Plan C or D?
So, starting in August I will be a full-time student with a full scholarship and I won't have to go to work for a while. Yay! After the brutally hard work I put in to get accepted, I am gratified to see it paying off.
I'm just looking forward to having a job again that people (think they) understand. Being a chef was like that.
So, bring on the sexy nurse jokes!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
you've been tagged!
Here are the rules:
A. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
B. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
C. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Ah, being tagged when I don't even know 7 bloggers. I doubt even seven people READ my blog.
I'll share some randomness about myself, though. I was tagged by Laura at http://zoeowyn.blogspot.com/
1. I don't know how to grow a thick skin. And yet I bristle when people tell me I'm "too sensitive". It is easy to hurt my feelings, but it is also easy to touch my heart.
2. I used to see ghosts. But so many people have told me that is bullshit that now I don't really see them anymore. Maybe I just choose not to look.
3. I have only ever had black dogs. I don't think I am capable of having a dog of another color.
4. I'm keeping this list boring on purpose. Because I am paranoid that my little girl's biological parents might look me up and read it. Although my life is pretty "normal" these days, I'm not feeling like being expressive about my quirks this morning.
5. Ant phobia. That being said, every Easter time I think about the Easter basket that got infiltrated by big, black ants. Shudder.
6. I am having a spiritual crisis right now. I want to believe that there is a God that cares about my daily life, but I just can't summon that feeling at all. Not that I don't think God is active in other people's lives. I think I just wasn't invited to the party or something. God loves me, but maybe doesn't like me. Just like real family.
7. I don't believe in coincidences. Not even a little. Everything reveals itself to have a purpose if enough time passes.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I gotta admit, this one is a little bizarre, but I am starting to have more than one "type". I have the first blush of a new celebrity crush: Richard Hammond from the BBC show "Top Gear".
He's just a little bit of a thing, embarrassingly nicknamed "Hamster". He's wee. I wanna squeeze him. I have impure thoughts about him, even though I would crush him with my bodacious curves.
What's his deal? What inspired my fan-lust?
He's smart and funny. Oh my. Top Gear is hilarious, anyway. But he really makes me laugh. I love a guy that can make me laugh.
Quirky good looks. He isn't classically good looking, but he has big, expressive eyes and a great smile. His co-hosts on Top Gear joke about him using teeth whiteners all the time.
British. It is well known that I love the Brits. I must be harboring a secret desire to marry a cousin. (eeeewwwww, just kidding!)
Pixie-man physique. I never did go for the big, brawny types. For some reason lately, I have been very attracted to delicate, petite men. So odd. I used to love toweringly tall guys. Now it is all about tiny men with big brains.
He drives fast cars for a living. Rawr. Even though he famously almost died in a jet powered car accident, he's got that expert driver thing going for him. He also describes his driving experience with evident pleasure. That is immensely appealing to me.
He can take a joke. Jeremy and James on Top Gear have a great deal of sport with him. It's fun.
He's almost my age. For you freaks who accuse me of only liking the young boys, Hammond is a year younger than me, and looks naturally aging. Cute smile lines and all.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Seriously, ya'll. Some movies just plain suck these days. Since I have been under the weather, I have been hitting the Netflix queue pretty hard and heavy. I have had to give out some low marks lately. Some examples.
Disturbia: Good god. I hope Shia LeBoeuf's presence in the new Indiana Jones movie doesn't stink up the joint like he does in this piece of crap. He can't take all the blame, the writing was pretty dreadful, and I don't even know how it ends because I got fed up and bailed out. Hey Hollywood, while we are on the subject, why don't you quit trying to do new spins on "Rear Window"? Hitchcock got it right the first time. It just isn't going to get better no matter how many hot chicks in bikinis you put in.
Spider Man 3: Oh, spare me the whining. This overwrought emo-fest drove me to relentless heckling in about 10 minutes. Peter Parker is a weenie. Mary Jane Watson should give up acting and try to learn how to be a better waitress and stop weeping, already. The CGI-heavy villains needed more screen time and, I dunno, some motivation to do bad things other than "I'm a tortured soul with not enough love in my life"! Gah. Even with all the stuff that blew up, I just didn't care. I really wanted that whiny Kirsten Dunst and her funky snaggle teeth to plummet 50 stories for once.
Blades of Glory: Someone should just make a big montage of various guys taking shots to the balls and have done. Will Ferrell was great in "Stranger than Fiction", but his recent spate of sports spoofs leave me flat. Whatta goober. Jon Heder was so awesome in "Napoleon Dynamite", I think he very well have jumped the shark on his whole career. Snaps for his beautiful golden locks in this one, but it is still lame.
Monday, March 3, 2008
How deep does this go?
Excavate it, carve around it, rediscover it.
With delicate caresses unearth it
Treasure your burnished heirloom in secret.
Down in the strata the serpent coils
Soft undulating flesh that yields and sways
How long will you long for the forbidden fruit
Before the skin breaks under your teeth?
In succulent sighs the call to prayer
Bow low and enter the holy veil
Ancient temple in your hands
Yours to rebuild or yours to lose.
Follow the voice that wraps around
Your medulla oblongata
Pluck the nerve to hear a vagal tone
Your heart strings bowed to my desire.
How deep does this go?
And how far back across the eons?
Moreover, if this vessel fills with love
How much will it hold?
(c) Stacie Ferrante
Song I danced to long ago
Play it again, just for me
Find the rhythm with nimble fingers
Lure forth Terpsichore from her slumber.
Does the rhythm still move you?
What would it take to shake you?
Hips swirling like smoke, henna-ed hands?
Lips glossy with honeyed words?
Make me feel that doumbek strike
Lure me with masmoudi beat
Make my fingers yearn for zills
And then yell “Yalla Habibi!”
And when I am taken up in it
And I undulate under your skin
Will you keep the beat steady
And zaghareet for me?
(c) Stacie Ferrante